I think this is the strongest installment so far in Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy series. It’s also the second book of hers this year that has left me feeling emotionally fragile.
The story starts off in a good place for Gwen, despite the fact that Loki is now free and ready start a Chaos War. That’s because she and Logan are finally together. After much angst and a great deal of waiting, they have both admitted their feelings to one another and are going on their first date. From there, though, everything starts to go downhill… fast.
Before the date even ends, members of the Mythos governing body –the Protectorate—place Gwen under arrest. She is accused of freeing Loki intentionally and a trial date is set. The student body turns against her; a guilty verdict seems a foregone conclusion. Making the situation worse, Gwen knows that the Reapers have something even worse on the horizon. But how can she beat them when her own future hangs in the balance?
I liked the whole Protectorate storyline. The leader, Linus, is such a dick. His righteous rhetoric is played to perfection. I love how he’s all tied in with Logan and how that plays into Gwen’s life even more. I enjoyed the new character Alexi and his surprising link to Gwen’s band of friends. The action was great. Gwen’s emotional turmoil was great. The bigger picture is advanced. And the end… well, let’s not linger too much on the end. Suffice it to say that Jennifer Estep likes making us work for our happy moments. I guess we’re not done working yet.
I had a pretty good inkling who things were going to go south for about halfway through the book, but didn’t find the other elements of the climax to be very predictable. I just wish we could get a little more of a mature dynamic in the relationship department. It doesn’t have to be dirty or anything, but it feels very innocent for 17. (Maybe this would be less bothersome for folks who are bigger YA fans. I read these because I love Estep… not necessarily the genre.)
Gwen is getting stronger and stronger. While in some of the past books that has played out with her magical gifts, here it’s a different kind of strength, the internal kind. I hope she wipes the floor with those Reapers in Midnight Frost.
*ARC provided by author for review
Crimson Frostby Jennifer EstepRelease Date: December 24, 2012Publisher: Kensington